America's Most Beautiful College Libraries
Suzzallo Library, University of Washington, Seattle
Moses, Shakespeare, Plato, Darwin, and Benjamin Franklin are among the 18 terracotta figures—chosen by faculty in 1923—that watch over those studying in this sandstone library. The main reading room is majestic and churchlike, with a high vaulted ceiling, stained glass, and hanging light fixtures. Oak bookcases are topped with hand-carved friezes that represent native plants of Washington State, such as Douglas fir, dogwood, and rhododendron. At each end hangs a hand-painted world globe bearing the name of an explorer.